The director of our senior school, Brad Smith, is doing a workshop today in our staff meeting on assessment for learning. He’s found the following quotes, which he wants to use in his presentation. I’m helping him edit his presentation (since I have time, and he does not), and I’m hoping to find some photos or other prompts which describe these statements to include in his presentation.


Many argue that “Formative Assessment” is a misleading term and is open to a variety of interpretations. “Assessment for learning” may be preferable and requires 5 elements to be in place:

  1. The provision of effective feedback to students
  2. The active involvement of students in their own learning
  3. The adjustment of teaching to take into account the results of assessment
  4. The recognition of the profound influence assessment has on the motivation and self-esteem of students, both of which are crucial influences on learning
  5. The need for students to be able to assess themselves and understand how to improve

Dylan Wiliam


When a teacher teaches, no matter how well he or she might design a lesson, what a child learns is unpredictable. Children do not always learn what we teach. That is why the most important assessment does not happen at the end of learning – it happens during the learning, when there is still time to do something with the information.

Dylan Wiliam, 2011


The worst scenario is one in which some pupils
who get low marks this time
also got low marks last time
and come to expect to get low marks next time.

This cycle of repeated failure
becomes part of a shared belief
between such students and their teacher.

Black and Wiliam, 1998


The more you teach without finding out who understands the concepts and who doesn’t, the greater the likelihood that only already-proficient students will succeed.

Grant Wiggins, 2006


The initiate-respond-evaluate cycle:

I’ll ask the question,
a few of you will answer
for the entire class,
and we’ll all pretend
this is the same thing as learning.

Fisher and Frey, 2007


If students left the classroom before teachers have made adjustments to their teaching on the basis of what they have learned about the students’ achievement, then they are already playing catch-up. If teachers do not make adjustments before students come back the next day, it is probably too late.

Dylan Wiliam, 2007


For teachers, getting annual test scores several months after taking the test and in most cases long after the students have departed for the summer sends a message: “Here’s the data that would have helped you improve your teaching based on the needs of these students if you would have had it in time, but since it’s late and there’s nothing you can do about it, we’ll just release it to the newspapers so they can editorialize again about how bad our schools are."

Doug Reeves, 1998


If you know of any photos or visual prompts/diagrams which you think may be useful, please let me know. His workshop is this afternoon, but I’m sure the resources will be useful another time as well. If I find resources which are useful, I’ll share them here.